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2008 June 28 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Florida’s Busy Ballot

So far there are going to be 9 Ballot Initiatives on the Florida general election ballot:

  1. Wants to stop the government from preventing rich foreigners from buying up Florida.
  2. Make Gays third class citizens [in a state in which a “boy and his goat” is still legal]. No indication as to how this is going to save marriage in a state with no-fault divorce that can be applied for over the ‘Net.
  3. Actually a good idea, as it exempts improvements designed to increase resistance to hurricane damage, or the installation of green technology from an increase in assessed value.
  4. Reduce property taxes for soil bank scam artists and others who are using conservation schemes to avoid taxes.
  5. Another attempt to shift costs from property taxes to sales taxes, this time aimed at schools.
  6. Not a bad idea, as it requires that assessment of waterfront property be based on current use, not on its value as a location for a 20-story tourist hotel. It might help a few marinas and boatyards stay in business.
  7. Get rid of the ban to giving tax money to churches.
  8. Shift Community College funding to a local sales tax increase.
  9. Tells schools how to operate while providing a backdoor for vouchers by overriding a court decision.

I’ll give 3 and 6 an extra look, but the rest of this detritus should be put out to the road.  They keep trying to shift the cost of government onto the sales tax, usually implying that tourists will pay for the state.  Well sales tax revenue is way down, tourism is way down, and sales taxes fall mainly on the poor, while property taxes affect the well off.

June 28, 2008   11 Comments

Flood & Fire Update

MSNBC reports that Missouri sandbag levee fails, forcing evacuations

WINFIELD, Mo. – A makeshift barrier holding back the Mississippi River failed early Saturday, swamping the low-lying part of the small community of Winfield and ending a valiant but ultimately doomed battle against the surging river.

About 300 National Guard soldiers worked nearly 20 hours to build a levee around a cluster of 100 homes in the flood plain after the river ripped through another levee there early Friday. Officials hoped the barrier would keep the water at bay long enough for it to recede.

It didn’t. Still, those in the town of 720 people said they won’t forget the heroic effort to try saving the neighborhood.

Actually the problem wasn’t the the barrier, it was the ground underneath it that liquefied and allowed the water to flow through. The ground was saturated by rain before the flood crest reached the area, so there was really not much that could be done – but you try.

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June 28, 2008   2 Comments